Tell Me What Rain Smells Like


Photo by Nikx

The Smell of Rain

Aging & Attitude

Steel metal colored clouds consume the sky and travel my way. The sun disappears behind them, and the sky turns dark.

Lightning cracks the sky and the sound pierces my ears.

The rain falls heavily, straight down and creates a blur; like at Niagara Falls, a sheet of rain cascades off the roof gutters and I recall  standing on “The Maid of the Mist” weathering the streams of water surrounded by rock.

The pinging rain is musical and comforting.

Floridians call it “big rain,” and I pull to the side of the road, the visibility is so poor.  It is not a monsoon, a season of precipitation; although the rain in April and May seem endless.

This daytime rain smells sweet.

A smell so fragile I inhale deeply to guess its fragrance. It is clean and crisp like mountain air but not strong. It is not vanilla, nor any other spice and less subtle than an herb.

Childhood memories; searching for a four-leaf clover, cartwheels, and skipping home to snack on Wonder bread, buttered then sprinkled with sugar, permeate my mind.

Coolness surrounds my shoulders and I close my eyes to relish the moment and the smell of rain, but cannot capture words.

What do you think rain smells like?

39 thoughts on “Tell Me What Rain Smells Like

  1. I can’t give you a discription….but I so remember smelling it as a child and loving it. Card games on the porch…listening and breathing.


  2. Velvety sweet rain smells like slightly damp, peaceful happiness might smell. It smells like undescribable years of wholesome memories confined (more carressed) by the wetness outside.


  3. Very poetic and realisitc at the same time. I’m from Vancouver BC Canada and I love the rain here in Florida when it happens I love the thunder too.


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  4. Thanks Claudia, your comment about Wonder bread with butter and sugar also brought back a memory I have not thought of in years… I remember watching storms coming from the porch of my Aunt Ethel’s farm house, and the combination of excitement and refreshment that we looked forward to. Chris


  5. A lovely descriptive piece, Claudia. I love it!
    Rain has the scent of my freshly-poured soaps — think Oatmeal, Milk & Honey or the delightful Lavender blended with Rosewater. Rain has a relaxing scent that is matched by no other.

    On another note you can always pick out the tourists when it rains at the beach. They pack up and head to their cars. The Floridians (or at least those of us that have lived here for a while) know that the shower will pass and in a few minutes the sun will be shining again. That’s why we love it here!


  6. I had a friend who loved the rain like you. She bought candles at Pier One that claimed to smell like the rain. I can smell them, but can’t describe them. You chose a difficult one indeed…


  7. Pingback: Comfort in the Rain | Haven't We Done This Before?


  9. Nice description of pleasant smell of rain
    Really it beats my imagination, my experience in creative writing.
    Finally, I appreciate your massive contributions towards the development of English literature.


  10. Such beautifully vivid descriptions! We haven’t had decent rain here for six years and I am longing for that special smell of the first rain on this parched part of the planet!


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